PedNet hosts its first \'Bikes & Brews\' event

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COLUMBIA - It's constantly enforced to citizen to not drink and drive, but they never said you couldn't drink and bike. 

Columbia PedNet Coalition hosted its first Bikes and Brews event Wednesday. 

The event offers a spring evening bike tour of downtown Columbia with stops for local microbrew samples.

Assistant Director of the PedNet Coalition Lawrence Simonson said the purpose of the event is to have fun on bikes but to also showcase local microbrews. 

"We do so much work, at least at PedNet to get out how easy it is to use your bike for transportation, but we also want to talk about how fun it is to use your bike as transportation," Simonson said. 

The coalition said it is only offering small samples of microbrews to prevent impaired bike riding.

Simonson said as far as liability, the Coalition checked with its insurance to make sure it was okay to have the event. 

"We explain what the event is going to be, and all of our insurance companies seem to OK with it. You know we have people everyday go out to bars and drink way too much and get in their motor vehicles; here we're doing it in a controlled and responsible environment where we're only giving a small sample," Simonson said. 

Bikes and Brews participant Felicia Rateliff said she's a frequent bike rider and supports the purpose of the event. 

"I just think it's really good for the culture to have things to do to bring people together and promote riding bicycles rather than driving. It's a neat cultural experience," Rateliff said. 

PedNet gave participants a set of tickets, a list of the stops and the time to be at each. Participants traded in each ticket for a microbrew sample. There was a set sequence of stops; however, participants were free to explore different downtown routes while riding. 

PedNet said it did a similar event last year, but it focused on wine and microbrews. 

PedNet offered a Tryathletics bike mechanic on the routes to provide support in case anyone had bike trouble.  

The coalition plans on making this an annual event.